SINGAPORE: Spouses and family members of foreigners working in Singapore, who hold dependant's passes, will need to obtain a work pass in order to continue working in the country, the Manpower Ministry said on Wednesday.
Currently, Dependant Pass (DP) holders, who want to seek employment only, have to get a Letter of Consent (LOC) from the ministry.
The change means that the spouses and other dependants of work pass holders will be subject to the same requirements as all other foreigners if they want to work in Singapore, reported TODAY newspaper.
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that enough time would be given to the applicants to switch to the new arrangement.
"We will provide sufficient time for existing DP holders working on an LOC, as well as their employers, to transit to this new arrangement. Most of them meet prevailing work pass criteria. Those that do not will have to cease working in Singapore," she said She said that most DP holders do not work during their stay in Singapore.
They represent about 1 per cent of all work pass holders, she said.
Existing DP holders who are currently employed can still continue working until the expiry of their LOC.
When the LOC lapses, employers of DP holders will need to apply for an applicable work pass if they wish to continue hiring them.
The Ministry will facilitate the transition to a work pass, it said in a factsheet released to the media during the parliamentary debate into its budget.
The relevant qualifying salary, dependency ratio ceiling, as well as levies for the respective work passes will apply for these employers, the ministry added.
The move is intended to align the requirements for DP holders who wish to work in Singapore with those for all other foreigners working here, and will bring consistency to recent updates to the work pass framework, said the ministry.
For DP holders who are business owners, they will be allowed to continue if their business creates local employment.
They will have to be either the sole proprietor, partner or director with at least 30 per cent shareholding in the business.
The company must hire at least one Singaporean or permanent resident, who earns at least SGD 1,400 a month and receives Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for at least three months, according to a Channel News Asia report.
Those who do not fulfill these criteria can continue to run their business on their existing letter of consent until its expiry, or apply for a one-off extension until Apr 30, 2022, when they next renew their dependant's pass.
If they want to start a new business, they can apply for a letter of consent but must meet these conditions as well.